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Library Research Guides

English 125 Brakefield

Resources and Services for Russell Brakefield's English 125 Class

About This Guide

This guide is designed introduce the library to undergraduate students at The University of Michigan and to act as a basic guide for undergraduate research.


Library Session Evaluation Form

Welcome to the Library

This guide will help you with your assignments for this course, in particular your Argumentative Investigation Essay.

Getting Started and Exploring Your Topic

Finding and Exploring Your Topic

This guide has lots of info on sources and ways to come up with a topic, on ways to get a quick overview of the major issues in a topic, and useful suggestions for how to broaden or narrow a topic.

Suggested Databases (Topic Overviews)

CQ Researcher is noted for its in-depth, unbiased coverage of health, social trends, criminal justice, international affairs, education, the environment, technology, and the economy. You can browse CQ Resercher by topic, track specific controversial topics by date or look up topics in their Pro/Con section. Pro/Con offers succinct articles by experts arguing for and against given topics. Click on the image below to go to this database.


Issues and Controversies offers accurate discussions of over 250 controversial topics in the news supplemented with chronologies, illustrations, maps, tables, sidebars, contact information, and bibliographies including primary source documents and news editorials. It has a subject index and a section featuring pro/con articles on a number of topics.

 General databases


ArticlesPlus is perhaps best described as "Google for the library's online content - without the ads!" From a simple single search box, ArticlesPlus searches full-text content as well as metadata from a wide variety of sources and returns a list of relevancy-ranked results.  Over 6,800 publishers are represented in ArticlesPlus, totaling over a half-billion articles from nearly 100,000 journals, newspapers and magazines.

Google Scholar (with U-M Ann Arbor MGet It Links)

The Google Scholar search engine that searches for scholarly documents on the World Wide Web, with the added feature of MGet It (labeled as "Availability at UMichigan") links from University of Michigan at Ann Arbor that connect you to the online and print versions held by the University Library.


Combined access to 50+ ProQuest databases, including full text journals, historical newspapers and corporate reports, and specialized indexes for many different fields, including:  Arts, Business, Engineering, Health Sciences, History, Humanities, Literature & Language, News & Current Events, Science, Social Sciences, and Dissertations & Theses. 

Specialized databases

Communication & Mass Media Complete
Coverage of more than 500 journals in the communication and mass media fields, with over 230 in full-text.
Database type: Article Index
Stable URL:

Premier resource for surveying the literature of psychology and adjunct fields. Covers 1887-present. Produced by the APA.
Database type: Article Index
Stable URL:

Communication Abstracts
Communication Abstracts, formerly produced by Sage Publications, is a comprehensive source of information about communication-related ...
Database type: Article Index
Stable URL:

21st Century Communication: A Reference Handbook
Handbook of new and existing tools, media and technology for communications and journalism.
Database type: Handbook
Stable URL:

Pew Research Center
Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world.
Database type: Statistics, Subject Gateway
Stable URL:

Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism
PEJ tracks the transformation of journalism in a changing information landscape through its annual State of the News Media report and other
Database type: Statistics, Subject Gateway
Stable URL:

Sociological Abstracts
Provides access to the international literature in sociology and related disciplines. Covers 1800+ journals, back to 1952.
Database type: Article Index
Stable URL:

Applied Science and Technology Abstracts (with Full Text)
Covers 350+ key, international English-language periodicals in the applied sciences and technology.
Database type: Article Index, E-Journal(s)
Stable URL:

Web of Science
Multidisciplinary index which permits searching for articles that cite a known author or work.
Database type: Article Index
Stable URL:

Research Guides and Useful Links

Communication Studies Research Guide

Finding Statistics

What is a primary source?